Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

Should local candidates be forced to pick a party?

Plus, LGBTQ anti-discrimination bill headed to Pa. Senate.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Access to quality, trusted, nonpartisan information is the bedrock of so many things. Whether you care most about your schools, crime, taxes, or more, change cannot happen if people don't know what's happening, can't see how their money's being spent, or aren't given the tools to get involved to make a difference. Together, we're changing that equation.

We're lucky here in Pennsylvania to have a new path forward. Your support of Spotlight PA powers not only the huge impact of our investigative journalism, but also our vital public-service guides, events, explanatory reporting and more, helping you demand better. In honor of the rights we enjoy to do this work, I'm asking for your support.

Help us restore access to reliable, actionable information in Pennsylvania that's available to all — not hidden behind a paywall — and that will make our state better for everyone. Make a tax-deductible gift to Spotlight PA now. As a special bonus, all monthly gifts will be matched at their ANNUAL value — that's 12X your contribution.

You can also give via PayPal here, or mail a check to: Spotlight PA, 228 Walnut St., #11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728.

Thank you for taking action on this important day.

—Christopher Baxter
Editor in Chief, Spotlight PA
In today's edition: Bipartisan confusion, Fairness Act advances, public sector protections, Summer Lee's a 'no,' and commissioner candidate arrested.

There's a long history of school board and other local candidates cross-filing, or running in both parties, in Pennsylvania primaries, but as races get more partisan, some lawmakers want to end the option.

Why do candidates cross-file in the first place? To maximize their chances of reaching the general election ballot in November. 

But while education advocates say this system decreases partisanship by allowing primary voters to focus on candidates rather than political affiliations, some state lawmakers say those affiliations are important for voters to know, especially in small local elections with limited media coverage.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Party affiliation can be misleading in local Pa. elections. Some lawmakers want to axe cross-filing.

THE CONTEXT: State Rep. Marci Mustello (R., Butler) said cross-filing does voters a disservice, and she's once again introduced a bill that would limit school board candidates to filing with a single political party.

Mustello said voters want to know "which side people are on and the core beliefs that each party has," adding, "I think it's just less confusing."

Another proposal, this one from state Sen. Judy Schwank (D., Berks), would keep cross-filing but require any candidates that run for more than one party nomination to list on the ballot what party they personally belong to. 


"The more critical issue is that virtually none of the claims made by Rep. Maloney in the letter are accurate."

Berks Co. Commissioner Christian Leinbach on claims state Rep. David Maloney (R., Berks) made insinuating ulterior motives behind the Reading Regional Airport Authority's rejection of a historic private investment
» How Spotlight PA will cover Pa.'s 2023 primary election

» How to request, fill out, and return your mail ballot

» How to vote, find your polling place, understand mail ballots

» A guide to vetting candidates for school board, judge, and more

» A guide to the Commonwealth, Superior Court candidates

» A guide to the Pa. Supreme Court candidates

» High court candidates with party backing show fundraising edge

» Request your mail ballot for the May 16 primary; deadline May 9
Support Spotlight PA's trusted, nonpartisan election reporting.
» Los candidatos a la Corte de la Commonwealth y Cortes Superiores

» Guía completa de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del Estado

» Una guía completa para el día de las elecciones primarias de Pa.

» Una guía básica para investigar a los candidatos a la junta escolar

» Todo lo que necesitas saber para votar por correo

Apoye ahora la cobertura electoral de servicio público de Spotlight PA.
Paw prints, via Don H. Send us your Pennsylvania photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
A closeup of animal prints in mud.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.FAIRNESS ACT: The Pennsylvania House has passed a bill banning discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in employment, housing, and all other public accommodations in a 102-98 vote. It now goes to the GOP-controlled state Senate. Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro will sign the bill if it reaches him, saying last week: "I am urging leaders in the House and the Senate to get it to my desk as fast as possible.” 

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.PUBLIC SECTOR: Spotlight PA's Stephen Caruso reports a bill that would make Pennsylvania the 30th state to extend OSHA workplace standards to public sector employers passed the state House Tuesday in a 116-85 vote and is headed to the GOP-controlled state Senate. WHYY in April of 2022 examined support for such a move and the headwinds from an opposition questioning the need and costs.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.CAPITOL BRIEFS: Other legislation on the move in Harrisburg this week, via Capital-Star: a right-to-unionize amendment that cleared a state House panel Monday; a bill that would expand access to sexual assault nurse examiners via Pennsylvania hospitals; and a bill giving parents DNA test kits to identify their children if they ever go missing. The latter passed out of a state Senate panel Tuesday.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.PEACE TALK: U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D., Pa.) was among 18 Democrats and one Republican to vote against a U.S. House resolution honoring America’s relationship with Israel. The reason? TribLIVE reports Republicans did not include the usual reference to a two-state solution or peace with Palestine in this year's version of the resolution, which is brought up every five years.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.CANDIDATE CHARGED: WTAJ reports Huntingdon County Commissioner candidate Andrea Lynn Speck has been arrested and charged with assaulting her 18-year-old daughter. Speck, 41, is charged with felony strangulation, simple assault, and harassment. Speck is seeking the GOP nod for Huntingdon County Commissioner in this month's primary and will remain on the ballot.

OVER THE WILDS: A proposal to conduct low-altitude military training flights over the Pennsylvania Wilds is on the table and up for public comment — again. Spotlight PA tells you how to get involved and have a say.

NTSB REPORT: The NTSB's preliminary ruling on the March explosion at West Reading's R.M. Palmer Company chocolate plant confirms the fatal blast was natural gas-fueled. The exact cause is still unknown.

TWITTER APOLOGY: The president of Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University, Mark Tykocinski, is apologizing after "liking" tweets doubting COVID vaccines and calling gender reassignment "child mutilation."

SATAN CLUB: A federal judge ruled Monday that Northampton County's Saucon Valley School District must allow an After School Satan Club to meet, the ruling coming in response to an ACLU lawsuit.

FASHION EMERGENCIES: Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency, aka PEMA, waded into the Met Gala discourse with a convincing Twitter thread on common emergency threats as #MetGala looks.

Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Malodorous

Congrats to our daily winners: Craig W., John P., Susan D., Eddy Z., John W., Kevin M., Eric F., Susan N.-Z., Don H., Irene R., Lynne E., Jon W., Kimberly D., Bob C., Barbara F., Carol S., Ted W., Judith D., Jane R., Michelle T., Beth T., Chuck M., Sandra W., Daniel M., Karen W., Bill S., Vicki U., John F., Daniel S., Elaine C., Keith W., Stanley J., Ted B., Al M., James B., Dennis M., Tom M., Linda P., William Z., Nancy S., Kim C., Gina L., Stacy S., Wendy A., Mark C., Starr B., Ada M., Dianne K., Michael K., and Joel S.


Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
228 Walnut St., #11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.